Don’t recycle your Christmas cards just yet! They may already be in a recycle bin, but if they are, rescue them for this Eco-Friendly DIY project!
Have you ever wondered if you could use Christmas cards for something else? Or you simply feel bad for creating more garbage? Well for me, that was what I thought.
Last year, I learned that many recycled items unfortunately end up in a landfill, so I wanted to do something about it. What if…there’s a creative solution that reduces your environmental footprint & your spending.
In this article, I’ll show you how to repurpose used Christmas cards into gift tags for next Christmas.
What you need to repurpose Christmas cards
*The golden rule – use what you already have or choose natural materials.
- used Christmas cards (I worked with 18 cards)
- a variety of scissors
- hole punch
- your imagination
Sorting Christmas cards
Step 1: Identify & Cut
First of all, identify which cards you want to save as memory or not. You’ll work with the ones that are going to be recycled.
Then, cut them in half where the fold line is. While you are cutting, look at what part you can or want to use. That’ll give you some ideas for your original design. Once you cut them all, the next step is sorting.
Step 2: Sort
Now you’re sitting with 2 piles: the front & back parts of the cards. Next, go through the front pile and divide the ones with and without any writing/picture on them. The ones without any writing can be used as a card or a tag. In other words, they are the easiest pile to reuse.
The ones with writing can be used as-is to glue on top of your gift. Since Christmas cards are pretty, you don’t even need to purchase any wrapping accessories next year. This pile is actually the golden pile!
For the back (of the cards) pile, use your eagle eyes to see what’s salvageable or not. The backside of the cards obviously has some writing on them.
Next, identify what pictures/printings (if there are any) you could possibly use. Then make a new pile with the part you want to use facing up. This is what I call the silver pile! The rest can be the challenge pile.
Now you have 4 piles to work with:
- Front – the easiest pile ones without any writings nor pictures
- Front – the golden pile with writings or pictures on the face part of the card
- Back – the silver pile with colors and/or commercial writings/pictures on either side of the card
- Back – the challenge pile that gives you the greatest satisfaction when you’re done (You may see them as garbage pieces)
How to make tags with used Christmas cards
The best way to tackle those 4 piles is to work from biggest to smallest. To clarify, the easiest pile should be the first ones you work with. Simply cut around the edges and put them aside. For these, you don’t need to make a hole because they can be used as cards, decorations, e.t.c.
Then start working with the golden & silver piles. Since golden pile pieces contain design and colours, they are easy and fun to come up with your own design.
Unlike the first 3 piles, the challenge pile is not for everyone. But it gives you great satisfaction like completing advanced hiking trails. By now you don’t have big pieces left, and some have writing on them. Simply bond many pieces to create a small tag. Even though they are the smallest, they require more time and your imagination!
Finally, create a hole and put some strings/twine of your choice. Your mission on repurposing used Christmas cards is completed!
So, let’s review the repurposing project. Did it meet my targets of reducing my environmental footprint & spending? Apparently, I created 47 tags/cards out of 17 used cards weighing 135g. Guess how many grams of bits & pieces of paper I was left with?!
Just 43g going into the recycle bin! That means I saved 92g of Christmas cards, and less than 1/3 will be recycled – pretty impressive! What about spending? Since I used what I had, there was no spending. And most importantly, I don’t have to buy any gift tags for next Christmas! So it’s a win-win situation, and I feel good about it.
Now, I want you to try creating some tags using Christmas cards. Begin with one, and you’ll enjoy using your creativity! When you do, please send me a picture. I’d love to see your creation!
with Love & Care❤️